Most of us realise how important it is to have skills we can use in our careers. However some job skills are much more important than others. These are called transferable skills, and they’re worth investing in for one very good reason. They are so called because they are just as valuable in one job as they are in another.
Let’s say you are currently a train driver and you are looking to change careers. The act of driving a train is not a transferable skill. However the engineering knowledge you will have gained through training and your ability to assist passengers are both transferable skills. In truth most jobs have these skills – you just need to become efficient at recognising them so you can add them to your CV in the future. This is the most important part of progressing through your career and job path, being able to recognise the skills that will never go to waste.
There are many, but here are some examples:
• The ability to be well organised
• The ability to work alone
• The ability to work in a team
• Learning new information and problem solving
• Dealing effectively and courteously with others
As you can imagine, it is easy to attain some or all of these skills in many job positions and industries. Many workers will need to be able to work independently of others and as part of a team, for example.
Others will learn new information more frequently than others, but the need to be able to take it in and make the most of it is always there. The more transferable skills you have the better. It may take time to sit and make a list of the ones you currently have, but it is worth doing.
It is also worth going back through jobs you’ve had in the past, to see if there are any others to add to the list. You may have more of these universal skills than you think.
Transferable skills should always be an important part of your CV. Most employers want people who can multi-task, work individually and as a member of a team, and much else besides. When you apply for a particular job, think about the transferable skills you already have.
Which skills are best when it comes to applying for this new job? Make sure you narrow down the ones that will be most important so you can add them to your CV. If you have skills that are particularly relevant to the position you are applying for you should of course add these too. But don’t discount the relevance of transferable skills, since they are the building blocks of any strong job application.